“I’ve spent a lifetime humbly working to learn, to preserve, to teach and to help us to remember who we are as a distinct people. … So you can imagine my dismay when I saw my name and words used to defend the racist Washington Redskins name. My son-in-law, ESPN’s Rick Reilly, completely misunderstood the conversation we had, quoting me as saying ‘the whole issue is so silly. The name just doesn’t bother me much. It’s an issue that shouldn’t be an issue, not with all the problems we’ve got in this country.’ … But that’s not what I said. … What I actually said is that ‘it’s silly in this day and age that this should even be a battle — if the name offends someone, change it.’ He failed to include my comments that the term ‘redskins’ demeans Indians, andhistorically is insulting and offensive, and that I firmly believe the Washington Redskins should change their name. … When Rick’s article came out, it upset me to be portrayed as an ‘Uncle Tom’ in support of this racial slur. I asked him to correct the record. He has not, so I must do it myself.”
“My concern is that the very existence of this kind of capability chills free speech in a disastrous way. I cannot see how there can be investigative reporting of the national security community, when the identity, the location, the metadata, and really the contents of every communication between a journalist and every source, every journalist, every source, is known to the executive branch, especially one that has been prosecuting twice as many journalist — sources as any president before. … Moreover, my even larger concern is, I don’t see how democracy can survive when one branch, the executive branch, has all the personal communications of every member of Congress, and every judge, every member of the judiciary, as well as the press, the fourth estate that I have just been describing.”
“In this world, it is perfectly fine to say that a president is inept or even somewhat corrupt. A titillating, tawdry sex scandal, such as the Bill Clinton brouhaha, can be fun, even desirable as a way of keeping entertainment levels high. Such revelations are all just part of the political cycle. But to acknowledge that our highest political officials are felons (which is what people are, by definition, who break our laws) or war criminals (which is what people are, by definition, who violate the laws of war) is to threaten the system of power, and that is unthinkable. Above all else, media figures are desperate to maintain the current power structure, as it is their role within it that provides them with prominence, wealth, and self-esteem. Their prime mandate then becomes protecting and defending Washington, which means attacking anyone who would dare suggest that the government has been criminal at its core.”
“I don’t so much mind that newspapers are dying — it’s watching them commit suicide that pisses me off.”
Gannett Co., the largest employer of journalists in the United States, laid off 700 employees Tuesday.